Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What is the sound of canon fire?

Most spelling errors are simply annoying, but some are quite amusing or even intellectually interesting. I ran across this one today in The New York Times of all places:

... machine gun and canon fire reverberated through the streets.

I am sure they meant cannon fire since canon refers to religious doctrine. Although, I suppose, a very heated discussion of religious doctine, especially in Iraq, could "reverberate" through the streets. Protesters were allegedly burning tires, so I suppose that could have been burning religious books as well to create "canon fires", but fires don't usually "reverberate."

Incidentally, even Google does not offer a spelling suggestion when searching for "canon fire", possibly since there are 18,500 hits for "canon fire" and it is so common a mispelling. But, Yahoo does offer the suggested correction!

More interesting is that a minority of the media that picked up the story from The Times actually corrected it. For example, from International Herald Tribune we read:

... machine-gun and cannon fire reverberated through the streets.

And, IHT even properly hypenated machine-gun.

Well, I guess even editors at The New York Times can sometimes have a bad day.

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home